Photos by: Victor Lacken/IFRC
Rasid Ahamed’s brows are furrowed in concentration as he finishes his drawing in a child-friendly space set up by the psychosocial support team at the Red Cross Red Crescent Field Hospital in Kutupalong, Bangladesh. For a moment, he can be a child again and express his creativity, briefly setting aside the horrors he endured while fleeing the violence in Myanmar. Bangladesh Red Crescent volunteers are looking after the Rasid while his mother is being treated by doctors at the outpatient clinic. In the child-friendly spaces run by Japanese Red Cross and the IFRC’s Emergency Response Unit Hospital, daily activities including psychosocial support and educational programmes are conducted. Over 14,000 children, like Rasid, have been involved in these activities.
The distraction may be momentary, but much needed. Hundreds of thousands of people arriving from Myanmar have been through an ordeal and need support to cope. Many people have been shot, suffered burns or sexual violence and seen family members killed. Their experiences are being compounded by the terrible living conditions in camps. The IFRC and Bangladesh Red Crescent teams are also conducting creative workshops and psychosocial activities in the community to support women and men.
Nearly 20,000 people have been involved in these activities. In the Hakimpura camp, the men are encouraged to make kites for the children living there. They also have fun testing the kites out.
At the safe spaces run by Red Cross and Red Crescent teams, young women in the camp are given cosmetics such as lipstick and powder as part of the fun activities organised in the camp. These two young women pose for a photograph after applying makeup.
Meanwhile, in Kutupalong camp, young men share the photos they have taken using cameras provided by the Red Cross to document life in the camp as seen through their own eyes.
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